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Halloween is never a great time for moviegoing thanks to parties and trick-or-treating, and this year was no exception.
Some box office tricks were better than others: As expected, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune stayed at No. 1 in its second weekend with $15.5 million from 4,125 theaters, for a 10-day domestic total of $69.4 million for Legendary and Warner Bros.
Dune fell 62 percent, a relatively solid hold considering Halloween distractions.
Overseas, Dune took in $21.4 million from 75 markets, including a so-so $33 million in China, for a foreign tally of $227.7 million and $292.1 million worldwide.
Halloween Kills clearly benefited from its namesake holiday. The Universal, Miramax and Blumhouse installment held at No. 2 domestically in its third weekend, with $8.5 million from 3,616 locations and an impressive domestic tally of $85.6 million and $115.1 million worldwide.
James Bond pic No Time to Die followed at No. 3 in its third outing with $7.8 million for a domestic cume of $133.3 million and north of $600 million worldwide.
The big headline of the weekend was overseas, where No Time to Die debuted in China to $28.2 million. Like Dune last weekend, the movie’s performance in the Middle Kingdom is being impacted by a major COVID-19 outbreak that is resulting in lockdowns across numerous provinces, including parts of Beijing.
In North America, supernatural-tinged Japanese anime pic My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission pulled off the biggest surprise of the weekend in opening to more than $6 million from only 1,600 locations to place No. 4. FUNimation is distributing the movie in the U.S. on behalf of Japan’s Toho.
Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage rounded out the top five with $5.8 million domestically as it headed for the $400 million mark globally, including $190.4 million domestically and $205.4 million overseas.
The big disappointment of the trick-or-treat parade was Edgar Wright’s psychological horror film Last Night in Soho, which, despite tons of buzz, opened to $4.2 million from 3,016 theaters in the U.S. to come in No. 6. Tracking had suggested the critically acclaimed specialty film might approach $8 million (Wright is the filmmaker behind Baby Driver.)
Wright’s movie stars Thomasin McKenzie, Anna Taylor-Joy and Matt Smith. The film also features the late Diana Rigg and Terence Stamp. “There are few bigger champions of the theatrical experience than Edgar, and we couldn’t be prouder he has made Focus his home,” Focus Features distribution president Lisa Bunnell said.
Opening a specialty film in 3,000 or so theaters can be risky. Searchlight Pictures used the same approach for Antlers, which also hoped to parlay its supernatural themes into Halloween movie ticket sales. The results were similar. Directed by Scott Cooper and released by Searchlight Pictures, the movie debuted to an estimated $4.2 million from 2,800 cinemas to tie with Last Night in Soho. (The final order will be determined Monday.)
Overseas, Soho started off with $2.3 million and Antlers, $2.5 million.
Both Last Night in Soho and Antlers were delayed from their original 2020 releases because of the pandemic.
Also on the specialty front, Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch made a major push in its second weekend as it expanded from 52 locations in North America to 788. The results were mixed; the Searchlight movie took in $2.8 million for a 10-day domestic total of $4.6 million.
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